A Night at Kéan Coffee – August 29, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we were very fortunate to be able to attend a tour of the Kéan Coffee roastery.  Upon our arrival we were greeted by Denia.  She asked us a few questions and one of them was how did you hear about the event?  I initially saw the event on the website, but my history with Kéan goes back a couple years now.  I was first introduced to the delicious coffee by my friend Nick Burton (we slaved together at Barnes and Noble).  My next encounter with Kéan was with Newport Bay Conservancy and their Earth Day celebration.  I learned that Kéan was and is a strong supporter of Upper Newport Bay.  I really liked seeing how they were involved in the community.  Anyways, I jumped at the opportunity to get to tour the roastery!

Okay, back to the tour.  Once more of the guests showed up, Martin came in and started to talk about his family and how he got involved in the coffee business.  It is a fascinating history and you can read more about that here:  http://keancoffee.com/AboutDiedrichFamily.aspx.  After everyone arrived, we made our way into the roastery.  The first thing Martin showed us was the coffee fruit (I don’t remember what kind).  He had us hold it in our hands and squish it to push out the coffee seeds.

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Below is a picture of Martin showing us the Coffee Family Tree.

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The roaster below on the left is the roaster built by Martin’s father.  He said that they used to keep it in the living room until his mom suggested that it find a new place in their home (guess it was too loud).  That is the roaster that Martin learned to roast on.  The roaster on the right is the one that his brother built.

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We continued our tour into the back room where (if my memory serves me correctly) all of the “green” coffee seeds/beans are stored until they are roasted.

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Here are the open bags of “green” coffee seeds that are waiting to be roasted. We were allowed to smell the different seeds – the Sauta Julia with honey smelled amazing!

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Kéan’s coffee roaster, Shawn, then began his roasting demonstration.

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This paper shows the different stages of the roasting process.

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Looking good…

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I love this picture of Shawn.

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That man roasts a mighty fine bean.

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After the roasting demo, the next part of our tour included a blind taste test of 3 different coffees.  It was fun trying to pull out the different flavor notes.

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The final stop on our tour was the barista demonstration put on by Denia and Garrett.  They went over the different methods of brewing coffee and also walked us through what goes on during a barista competition.  We sampled espresso, cappuccino, and Garrett’s specialty the Amaro “Pie-o” which uses the Ethiopia Amaro Gayo coffee (tastes include passion fruit, honey, blueberry, semi-sweet chocolate, and almond butter).  This is by far my favorite coffee at the moment!  Below are a few pictures from the barista demonstration.

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This was such a fun evening (can’t you tell how much fun I had by my reflection in the roaster?)!  I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something different to do or at the bare minimum get highly caffeinated for the evening!  Oh and before I forget we got to take home a bag of the coffee that Shawn roasted – what a great treat.

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Seriously though, check out Kéan Coffee!  They have two locations – one in Newport Beach and the other is in Tustin.  It’s definitely worth the trip! Here is a link to the information about the tour:  http://keancoffee.com/EventCalendar.aspx

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